Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Interview: Artist and Taxidermist, Julia deVille

Images from Julia deVille's latest exhibition, Night's Plutonian Shore.

Have you noticed that taxidermy seems to be having something of a renaissance? One of the most fascinating artists in this realm is Julia deVille.

While her work is undoubtedly intriguing and hauntingly beautiful, it is Julia's philosophies on life, death and art that are just as captivating. "The nature of our culture is is to obsess over planning the future, however, in doing so we forget to enjoy the present," says Julia. "I consider my taxidermy to be a celebration of life, a preservation of something beautiful."

In the first of a new Interview series, I recently caught up with Julia to find out a little bit more about what makes her tick.

I describe my work as quiet, dark, sentimental.

I'm inspired by nature, life, death and the Victorians.

I'm currently working on new work for an exhibition at the Aesop stores in London and Paris, this October.

A day in my life. I get up, walk my dogs, work for a bit, go to yoga in the city and buy supplies, come home and work some more then hang out with my lovely husband Nick.

I'm passionate about life and animal rights. I believe all life is important and as conscious beings we have the responsibility to preserve it.

You'll often find me working!

If I wasn't an artist or jeweler I'd be dead...or a scientist.

I'll always being asked, "Where do you get your animals from?" They have all died of natural causes and most are donated to me.

People are often surprised to learn that I am a vegetarian (and not a goth).

My golden rule is life is precious and we can live very comfortably without taking it.

Night's Putonian Shore, is at Sophie Gannon Gallery until 21 August 2010.


  1. What a great interview and I adore the baby deer...aww:)


  2. it is a shame she doesn't do all her own taxidermy, they are the real artists.

  3. I'm not usually a fan of taxidermy art.. but I like these! great interview!

    <3 Kelly

  4. hello anonymous,
    julia is actually a trained taxidermist who performs the preservation process herself - freeze drying each animal can take months at a time.

  5. i dont consider freeze drying taxidermy as there is a lot less involved in that prossess. It just preserves the animal whole by removing the water, the item is frozen at the same time thus keeping the cells in shape. And in the past she had had people do the taxidermy for her.I feel sad for the people that do "real" taxidermy. The piece that the produce is considered a mount, or a specimin... they are just taxidermist not artist. Please please please read about freeze drying and the original ways of preserving! I have some old mounts where under that skin these amazing people have sculpted the animals internal form using wood wool. The larger pieces are made with papermache.

  6. Anonymous - Sounds like you know your stuff! I really appreciate that you took the time to've also inspired me to read up on the differences between freeze drying and original methods of taxidermy...

  7. that's ok! it just upsets me that taxidermist are not really considered artist because they put a skin over the scupture that they have made... instead the piece is called a mount or a specimen... there is so much work involved. I found this out when I looked at getting my dog done. I actually met the guy that did some of julia's stuff... he is a simple sweet guy who has been doing it for many many years... yet no one knows who he is... and he is a true artist! freeze drying is great in theory as it preserves the "true" animal...however the pieces are not as stable as the tradtional way and if not kept in the correct way are doomed to rot away if moisture is introduced. It would be a shame for julia's pieces to not go the distance that traditional taxidermy can offer. I just wish there was somewhere in melbourne or even australia that was running classes.

  8. She does do her own taxidermy. I have read two or three separate articles where she has specifically described how exactly she does it.


Related Posts with Thumbnails